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Review 2 of "Recreation and Realization: Reported Motivations of Use among Persons Who Consume Psychedelics in Non-Clinical Settings"


Published onMay 24, 2021
Review 2 of "Recreation and Realization: Reported Motivations of Use among Persons Who Consume Psychedelics in Non-Clinical Settings"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes

[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

I thought the paper was written clearly and well-organized. It raises the important point that most psychedelic use is recreational, whereas most media coverage is on clinical use. This is an important disconnect for the field and public to keep in mind when generalizing findings. I had minor suggestions which are listed below.

“These narratives echo early research on [mind]set, claiming that apprehension about taking psychedelics was negatively correlated with a willingness to try them again (Leary et al. 1963).” 

-It may useful to refer readers to recent texts in this area as well (see Aday, J. S., Davis, A. K., Mitzkovitz, C. M., Bloesch, E. K., & Davoli, C. C. (2021). Predicting Reactions to Psychedelic Drugs: A Systematic Review of States and Traits Related to Acute Drug Effects. ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, 4(2), 424-435. for a review)

As mentioned earlier in this paper, the first state-funded project on psychedelic science was granted in the early 1990s after nearly 30 years of severe legislative restraint.”

-It should be made clear that this only refers to human-subjects research, many animal studies continued through the 70s and 80s.

“In fact, there are no formalized studies of microdosing, but antidotal evidence indicates that it incites a positive mood, increases productivity, and encourages work-relevant problem-solving (e.g., Leonard 2015; Waldman 2017), which echoes some reports on moderate to high psychedelic consumption (e.g., Turner 2009).” 

-This should be updated as well as there have been several placebo-controlled studies on microdosing recently (e.g., Szigeti, B., Kartner, L., Blemings, A., Rosas, F., Feilding, A., Nutt, D. J., ... & Erritzoe, D. (2021). Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing. Elife, 10, e62878.; Yanakieva, S., Polychroni, N., Family, N., Williams, L. T., Luke, D. P., & Terhune, D. B. (2019). The effects of microdose LSD on time perception: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology, 236(4), 1159-1170.)

Lastly, there is an article by Frederik Bøhling (Bøhling, F. (2017). Psychedelic pleasures: An affective understanding of the joys of tripping. International Journal of Drug Policy, 49, 133-143.) that should be referenced when discussing the joyful/recreational reasons for using psychedelics. 

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